President Trump has pardoned Paul Pogue, former boss of Pogue Construction in McKinney, Texas, who was found guilty of underpaying his taxes.
Pogue was found to have underpaid his taxes by around 10% over a three year period, but later paid restitution, interest and penalties amounting to $723,604, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Pogue pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years probation, according to a statement from the White House.
As well as Pogue, the president pardoned six other people convicted of crimes, including business people, and commuted the sentences of four other people, including the former governor of Illinois
Business Insider found that Benjamin Pogue, Paul’s son and chief executive of Pogue Construction, and his wife Ashleigh Pogue had made donations to Trump worth $216,004, and to the Republican Party totalling $184,478.
The Philadelphia Inquirer says Republican politician and commentator Rick Santorum advised Trump of Paul Pogue’s probation and tax avoidance, with Trump quoted as saying Pogue’s treatment "sort of stunk".
The article quotes Santorum on the situation: "He paid 90% of his taxes, it’s not like he didn’t pay taxes. He admitted he didn’t pay it because he thought he was paying too much. So, he took a hit for it.
"He’s just one of the most genuine, decent, generous, upright guys that I’ve ever met. I don’t think I’ve ever pushed for a pardon for anyone. I generally don’t do that."
The Daily Beast reports that following a donation, Ashleigh Pogue posted a picture on Instagram of her and Benjamin with Donald Trump Jr in the upmarket Hamptons resort.
The White House press statement praises Paul Pogue’s charity work, including one charity that provides churches, schools and orphanages in developing countries and another that aided communities in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Image: Donald Trump (Chriscintron/Dreamstime)